Every fall migratory birds fly south from their breeding grounds in the Canadian forests on their way to the tropics, and large numbers stop over in New York City. Central Park is one big concentrated stretch of green from the air, and it attracts the migrants, provides a place to rest and forage before continuing the journey.
The tiny terrace is west and south of Central Park and has just one birch tree, one black pine, a hedge of ivy and Manhattan euonymus, and a small herb garden, but I am so glad to see the birds have found it.
There is so much about New York that I love, but sometimes I can feel nature-deprived. It is always possible to hike up to Central Park, or along the river in Hudson River Park, or Forest Park or Alley Pond in Queens, or Floyd Bennett Field or Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, or Van Cortlandt Park or Pelham Bay in the Bronx, or the magical Staten Island Greenbelt, but there's nothing like sitting at one's desk, glancing up, and seeing a bird in a tree just outside the window.
Birds face enough dangers on their migrations, and New York provides special challenges. They crash into windows on skyscrapers; it's not uncommon, in the morning, to walk by tall buildings and find dead or injured birds. Light can also be a magnet. New York City Audubon and Project Safe Flight are working to improve things.
Creatures migrate. It's how they survive. Humans, too.
Meanwhile, up here, feeling grateful for the delicate beauty of birds and sky.